By Umaru Jarr :
In an effort to overcome institutional challenges and improve on their long-term objective of governing for the public good, the APC Secretary General Ambassador Osman Foday Yansanneh has said that his party put the interest of Sierra Leone above all else. He made this disclosure during the party’s Diaspora-wing elections that took place in the German city of Frankfurt on Saturday November 23.
“In spite of the fact that the APC is a party that belongs to its members, we believe that the philosophy of constructive nationalism puts the interest of Sierra Leone above all other interests,” Ambassador Yansanneh said and affirmed that no member of the APC can stop the will of progress, as according to him, the party itself is bigger than any single member, regardless of what status or position that member occupies within the party´s hierarchy.
To develop clear and detailed programmes for addressing the country’s real economic and social needs, the APC Secretary General said members of his party and the general public should be mindful of the fact that the dynamics of modern day governance warrant the need to promote national development with policies that are coherent with sustainable economic growth. Making specific reference to the Agenda for Change which he said has facilitated the implementation of several development programmes across the country. The APC scribe reiterated that his party under the leadership of Ernest Bai Koroma has done extremely well in increasing the standard of living for all Sierra Leoneans. He assured that the APC government will continue its development drive under the new Agenda for Prosperity— a new approach that will make Sierra Leone become a middle income country by 2035.
He emphasized his party’s commitment to empower young men and women to prepare and enable them obtain responsible positions in governance. “We need younger people to come and take over from older folks. We also need new development ideas,” Ambassador Yansanneh said noting further that the number of young men and women occupying government and cabinet positions in the APC government demonstrates his party’s commitment to youth empowerment.
Cabinet positions were mainly occupied by older folks in past governments and in most cases influenced the policies of their parties—a situation he said does not exist in the APC government.
He made mention of the Youth and Women’s League established in the APC party, which he said is an essential value to the party’s quest to encourage pluralism, tolerance and participatory democracy. He disclosed that his delegation to conduct the elections of the APC chapters in the Diaspora comprises the President of the National Youth League and Youth Presidential Aide, Mr. Bai Mamoud Bangura, and the Women’s Congress Leader, Madam. Elizabeth Mans. He referred to them as the forerunners whom in most cases, were sent to prepare the groundwork and report back to the elders. Ambassador Yansanneh lauded the efforts made by Ms. Mans and Mr. Bangura in mobilizing young men and women thus ensuring their active participation in national politics.
The elections across Europe and USA is part of the party’s strategic plans to establish and strengthen effective support networks and further build sustainable constituencies in Sierra Leone. He said they will also engage party branches in the Diaspora and assist them to get proper working documents that are in line with the national constitution of the APC.
He further disclosed the party’s readiness to confront challenges at national level and called for the participation of all its members and the people of Sierra Leone at the upcoming national events that are going to take place between now and 2018. These events, he went on, are the National census slated to take place in 2014, the local government elections in 2016 and the Presidential and parliamentary elections in 2018. He disclosed that the outcome of the local government elections in 2016 will determine the strength of the party prior to the Presidential and parliamentary elections in 2018.
Other members in Ambassador Yansanneh´s delegation included the deputy Chairman of the All People’s Congress and Minster of Mines and Mineral Resources, Hon. Alhaji Minkailu Mansaray, the party’s regional Chairman for Western area who also doubles as Minster of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Hon. Captain Pat Sowe, and former UK Vice Chairman in charge of membership and APC data collection, Mr. Emmanuel Yoni Sesay.
Sierra Leone’s Ambassador to Germany, H.E Jongopie S. Stevens received the APC entourage and made the necessary arrangements to ensure a peaceful conduct of the elections. The elections in Frankfurt were successfully conducted with a new executive headed by M S. Bangura as Chairman of the APC branch in Germany.